When to diminish
Devotions from Jefferson Vann # 2384
Joh 3:22 After these events happened, Jesus and his disciples went to the Judean region, where he spent time with them and was baptizing.
Joh 3:23 John also is baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was lots of water there. They were coming and being baptized,
Joh 3:24 because John had not yet been thrown into prison.
Joh 3:25 That was when a debate happened between John’s disciples and a Jew over the issue of purification.
Joh 3:26 So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one you have testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan, is baptizing– and they all are going to him.”
Joh 3:27 John answered, and this is what he said, “No one can receive anything if it were not given to him from the sky.
Joh 3:28 You yourselves are testifying that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I am – having been sent ahead of him.’
Joh 3:29 He who gets the bride is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, is overjoyed when he hears the groom’s voice. Accordingly, this joy of mine is complete.
Joh 3:30 He has to grow, but I have to diminish.”
when to diminish
John and Jesus have a short period in which they are ministering concurrently. His disciples ask him about that. He responds using the analogy of a bride and groom at a wedding. There will come a time when the groom will have his bride all to himself. But during the wedding, the best man (to use the modern western term) gets to share in the celebration. As the ceremony progresses, it is less about the best man, and more about the bride and groom.
That’s a perfect analogy for gospel ministry today. We should regard ourselves as friends of the groom. We have the privilege of bringing new people to Christ, and the joy of getting them together with their Savior. But we should always bear in mind that our objective is to establish a relationship between the ones we evangelize, and Christ. Their eyes must focus on Christ more, and us less.
LORD, give us the joy of bringing people to you, and the wisdom to know when to diminish in their eyes.